Blog Spotlight | Mother of Pearl It Is
Today I would like to welcome Tree from Mother of Pearl It Is. I had a chance to learn more about her blog and here’s what she had to say…
Please tell me about yourself.
Hello… my name is Tree (short for Teresa). I’m 47 years “young,” and married to my love, Kevin. We are celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary this coming Valentine’s day, but have been a couple since we met 23 years ago while working at a restaurant together. It truly was love at first sight! We are blessed with 5 beautiful kiddos, Matt (22), Nikki (16), fraternal twins Anthony & Andre (13) and our baby, Brianna (8). We also have a lovely daughter-in-law-to-be, Brittany (22) and are the very proud grandparents of 2 precious little girls, Angelle (3) and Jiannah (2). You can check out our “portraits” in my blog sidebar. 🙂 We’re all a bit nutty and our life can be quite chaotic at times, but for the most part, our home is loaded with love and laughter.
Please tell me about your blog.
Mother of Pearl It Is began as a way for our family members to stay up to date with anything from school, to holidays and family gatherings, to health issues, and of course, all of our crazy antics! Just in the last 6 months or so, my blog has become more of what you would call, a Review/Giveaway blog. I really enjoy reviewing products and sharing my opinion… good or bad… with my readers. However, I still enjoy writing and try to include some of the more personal blog postings too.
Read how I came up with the name Mother of Pearl It Is ( http://www.motherofpearlitis.com/2010/02/of-pearl-you-say.html ) for my blog.
How long have you been blogging?
I will be celebrating my blogoversary on February 23rd… that is when I published my first post on this blog. I did have another blog of the same name on Blogger for a couple months before that, but it never quite took off. I decided to go with a self-hosted WordPress blog thinking that would boost my following … still nothing. Plus I wasn’t impressed enough with WP to justify paying a monthly fee. Came back to Blogger in February 2010 and from there, my following began to grow with the help of giveaways, blog hops and events like Blogmania and Blogtastic Extravaganza, and weekly memes.
How did you get started?
I caught the “blogging bug” in June 2009. I was a “mommy message board” type of gal for many years, and was the Administrator of 2 very successful forums, which I have since closed to the public. My first blog was called Mommies Faves, which began as an extension to my Mommies Faves Top Sites voting site. It was to be a place for all mom-related information, articles, etc. to be posted, as well as, a place to announce the monthly #1 Top Site winner. I just recently closed the doors to my Mommies Faves blog, but the voting site is still open. It was known as Mommies Faves Top Sites for many years, and just in the last year, I have opened it to include Top Blogs as well.
What kinds of products do you feature on your blog?
Coming from a long-time Avon representative, I believe in trying products for myself before promoting them to my customers… or in this case, my readers. I will only review products that I or my family members would personally use and want to try. Things like beauty and health supplies and accessories, housewares and decor, diet and fitness items, children’s clothing and toys, food items, men and women’s clothing, local events, electronics and technology, and household cleaning products. I pride myself and being very honest and forthcoming in my reviews, and will include any minor flaws and/or issues that I may have had while testing a product. However, I will not post a totally negative review. Rather, I would contact the company directly and give them my reasons for not going through with the review. I will give them the option of whether they want me to continue with posting the review or not. Thankfully, I’ve only had to do that a couple times, and of course, they didn’t want me to post the bad review.
What was your favourite giveaway?
I love doing the big event giveaways like Blogmania and Blogtastic Extravaganza, and have had the pleasure of working with some awesome Sponsors and co-bloggers! But, if I had to choose a favorite “regular” giveaway, it would have to be the Tassimo Home Brewing System. I wanted to get one for such a long time, and by the entry numbers that the giveaway pulled in… it looks like everyone else wanted to have one too. LOL I do have several other faves that I’ve worked with multiple times and they have always been generous and true to their word.
Who does your blog appeal to?
I do get quite a bit of traffic from my giveaways, but I think my blog also appeals to a wide variety of moms… young, old, grandmothers, moms of multiples, moms with large families, moms of multi-racial children, special needs moms, as well as, women in general. And I also have quite a few men that follow too.
What direction do you see your blog going in the future?
Of course, you always strive for a bigger and better blog, but the numbers aren’t as important to me as the friendships and connections that I have made. I enjoy writing and interacting with other bloggers and companies, so I hope that my blog will continue on for many years.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with your blog?
Probably… finding the time to keep it up while working outside the home, running a home business, raising 5 children, and helping with the grandbabies. I did run 4 blogs and 2 message board forums at one time, as well as a Ning community group, but had to do away with most of them. Just not enough time in the day for quality time with the family AND quality posts!
What do you love about blogging?
Again, I really enjoy the connections you make with other bloggers. I found out years ago that it is very possible to “bond” with someone you’ve never actually met. I still keep in contact with several very good friends from my old message board forum. AND many of us have met IRL, shared photos, phone calls, and even Christmas cards and gifts. At times, they can be a better friend than many of your “real” friends.
Do you have a blogging pet peeve?
Umm … yes, a few actually. LOL I don’t care for what I call “drive-by” or “hit and run” comments. When I visit a blog, I try to post a comment that has some kind of meaning to it. Read a little about the post you are commenting on first, then leave a comment pertaining to it. This is why I won’t participate much anymore in blog hops. It’s one thing to want to increase your following, but if you aren’t really interested in the blogs you visit or what they are writing about, why bother following? Also, I can honestly say that I tend to have quite a “potty mouth” at times, but will usually skip the blogs,where every other word is nasty. I also think that no matter how “big” you get in the blog world, you should never be too big to visit and comment on other blogs. Am I saying someone should comment back on every comment left on their blog? Of course not. But, taking time to stop by and say hi to your followers every now and again? By all means.. YES.
Do you have any advice for the readers entering your giveaway? newbie review bloggers?
Those entering giveaways…. PLEASE remember to include your email address… at least in your Mandatory Entry. You will miss out on winning if I can’t locate an email for you. And read the giveaway rules BEFORE entering. Everyone does things differently, so you could miss out on winning again if you aren’t following that blogs entry rules.
For newbie review bloggers… persistance is necessary. You can’t just sit back and hope they will come. Sure, I’ve been approached by companies to do product reviews/giveaways, but the majority of mine have come from contacting companies directly. Search the web for contact info, see what companies other bloggers are working with. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, you will need to start with the smaller companies until you get your “foot in the door.” You can’t expect that someone like Dell is going to send you a brand new computer to review when you’ve never done a review before. Don’t get discouraged… the offers will come. There are also alot of great networking sites for Reviewers, and they will offer opportunities from companies they work with. Join them all and stay as active as possible to get the most out of them.
Tell me some of your favourite blogs that you read.
Wow… I have a BUNCH… but here are some that I visit at least weekly:
Stacie from Simply Stacie, of course. 🙂
My girl, Jana from Boobies, Babies, and a Blog
Cindi from Little Yaya’s
Stacy from Survey Junkie
Bree from What Matters Most
Brandi from My Life with 5 Monkies
My American Idol buddy, Lori from Tiny Little Reveries
Abe from The Blog O Cheese
and many more!